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Angolan president warns against social media misuse

Wed, 18 Sep 2019 16:23 - Updated Wed, 18 Sep 2019 16:23

President João Lourenço addressing an opening ceremony of Biennial - Pan African Forum for the Culture of Peace

Photo: Francisco Miúdo

Luanda - Angolan head of state João Lourenço warned on Wednesday in Luanda the youth to refrain from using social media to misinform and distort the facts aimed at creating social disorder.

João Lourenço, who was addressing an opening ceremony of the Luanda Biennial - Pan African Forum for the Culture of Peace, stressed the need to take advantage of the importance of social media to strengthen the culture of peace and non-violence.

Citing several countries as example, the president referred to the danger the social media represents when used to misinform and manipulate the facts with the goal of creating social disorder as way to put pressure on democratically elected governments to leave power.

Joao Lourenço called for the need to find sustainable solutions to many of the pressing issues Africa still faces.

Among the problems, the president quoted hunger, misery, disease, illiteracy, social inequality, rampant unemployment and terrorism, which spark tribalism and xenophobia, dividing the Africans themselves.

To him, such situations delay the harmonious development of African countries and the well-being of their populations.

He also underlined that one of the major tasks reserved for the continent's political leaders and different civil society actors has to do with the objectives of the African Union in its agenda for promoting a culture of peace and non-violence called "Silencing weapons by 2020".

This goal, he said, “is apparently difficult to achieve, but the legacy left by the great leaders of our continent is a source of inspiration to us as we strive to put an end to the sadly persistent conflicts on the continent”.

The president defended the need to focus on promotion of culture, education, research and the role that youth, women's organisations and traditional and digital media can play in conflict prevention and the promotion of a culture of peace.

As for the various forms of art displayed at the event, the president said these works are part of the initiative of the African artists, which can contribute not only to the reaffirmation of a global Africa , but (also) to the promotion of genuinely African cultural values and favorable to peace”.

The Biennial, which ends next Sunday, is running under the motto “Building and preserving peace: a multi-actor movement”.

The event is co-sponsored by Angolan state, UNESCO and the African Union.